Justin Raimondo: IRAQ 'FLYTRAP'
- IRAQ IS THE 'FLYTRAP'- AND U.S. TROOPS ARE THE BAIT
Justin Raimondo, antiwar.com, 9/12/03
The complete moral bankruptcy of the War Party is coming out of the
closet, as they say, with the emergence of the strategic thinking
behind the war in Iraq. To those Americans who see that there was no
connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda, no weapons of mass
destruction, no imminent danger, the war is a mystery. As American
casualties become a daily routine, and Iraq slips into chaos, more
and more Americans want to know: What were they thinking?
Ah, but Andrew Sullivan knows ..
In the confidential manner of a practiced sycophant, the British-born
writer, former editor of The New Republic, and George Orwell wannabe,
is so eager to show off his chumminess with the powerful that he lets
slip the following:
"Some time before the Iraq war, I found myself musing out loud to
someone close to the inner circles of the Bush administration. We
were talking about the post-war scenario, something that even then
was a source of some worry even to gung-ho hawks like myself. I
voiced some worries about what might happen if an occupied Iraq
became a target for international terrorism. Wouldn't U.S. soldiers
become sitting ducks? What was to stop al Qaeda using Iraq as a
battleground in the war against the West?
"And what he said surprised me. If the terrorists leave us alone in
Iraq, fine, he said. But if they come and get us, even better. Far
more advantageous to fight terror using trained soldiers in Iraq than
trying to defend civilians in New York or London. 'Think of it as a
flytrap,' he ventured. Iraq would not simply be a test-case for
Muslim democracy; it would be the first stage in a real and
aggressive war against the terrorists and their sponsors in Riyadh
and Damascus and Tehran. Operation Flytrap had been born."
With U.S. soldiers as bait, "sitting ducks," as Sullivan puts it, the
strategy of the U.S. is to say, in effect, "Bring 'em on!" So what if
we lose a couple of hundred or a couple of thousand GIs in the
process of springing this clever little trap. Baited with plenty of
juicy young American troops, just waiting to be picked off, Iraq will
attract terrorists like a dead carcass attracts flies. "Operation
Flytrap" it's enough to make any decent person gag. As opposed to
Sullivan, who opines:
"The extra beauty of this strategy is that it creates a target for
Islamist terrorists that is not Israel."
God, how I wish it were Sullivan and not some wide-eyed innocent from
Idaho patrolling the mean streets of Baghdad. Let Andy take a bullet
Is it really possible for anyone but a moral monster to praise
the "beauty" of a strategy that treats American soldiers like
sacrificial lambs, moving targets in a shooting gallery, totally
expendable? To say nothing of how it treats the Iraqis who are
discovering that the "liberation" of their country means turning it
into a charnel house. A more profoundly evil scheme would be hard to
Aside from its appalling immorality, "Operation Flytrap" won't
protect us from terrorism. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
says "We're killing, capturing terrorists in Iraq which is a whale of
a lot better than Boise." But what would bring them to Boise to begin
with is a desire to avenge what happened to Baghdad, and, at least so
far, the U.S. government can't stop them from coming: if ABC News can
smuggle depleted uranium into the U.S., imagine what horrors Al Qaeda
could import to our shores. To think that our strategy is to rile up
this hornets' nest is to realize the madness of our leaders.
Given the reality of the "Flytrap" strategy, it ought to be clear, by
now, why the biggest opponents of the Iraq war are senior military
officers, both active and retired. To them, this is a truly monstrous
idea, one that makes a ghoulish mockery of everything they have ever
believed and fought for.
The childlike innocence of evil, the complete absence of any moral
sense, prevents Rumsfeld and Sullivan from seeing themselves as
monstrous. In their own minds, they are legends: Sullivan thinks he's
Orwell, and who Rummy imagines himself to be Napoleon? Caesar? God
the Father? is more information than I need to have. Suffice to say
that they see themselves as the Good Guys, idealists even, and they
are genuinely shocked when ordinary people (as opposed to those who
inhabit the Washington Beltway) express revulsion at their ideas.
"I subsequently aired this theory on my blog, and received
incredulous responses. Readers chimed in with objections.Wouldn't
that mean essentially using U.S. soldiers as bait? Isn't this too
cynical and devious a strategy? Isn't there a limitless supply of
jihadists just longing to mix it up with the U.S. in a terrain they
know better than we do? What on earth are you talking about?"
What on earth, indeed.
As a prime example of the Court Intellectual, whose job it is to
flatter and fawn over the wit and wisdom of royal personages,
Sullivan does a good job of rationalizing the disaster that unfolded
after our "victory" in Iraq. It was all part of the plan, you see:
Bush isn't trying to pacify the country. His goal is, rather,
to "continue waging war against terrorism." The chaos is intentional.
As death comes knocking on the doors of the families of American
soldiers killed in the escalating conflict, Sullivan has the nerve to
write: "Opportunity knocks."
What's funny, in a morbidly unhealthy way, is that the clueless
Sullivan thinks the President ought to come out with this "Flytrap"
strategy in public:
"At some point, I'd argue, the president therefore has to make this
strategy more formal. He has to tell the American people that more
violence in Iraq may not in some circumstances be a bad thing."
Too bad the White House is unlikely to take Sullivan's advice.
Dubbing the Iraq war "Operation Flytrap," and likening U.S. soldiers
to cockroach bait would sure help the American people and the
troops in the field see the true meaning of this rotten war.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
Michael Ledeen called this strategy "creative destruction," in his
book, The Terror Masters, and his bold espousal of a profoundly evil
idea is perhaps the chief characteristic of that infamous faction
known as the neocons. They seem to revel in their own bloodlust. For
example, neocon Max Boot, who bemoaned the low level of casualties in
the Afghan war. Presumably the significantly higher casualty rate in
Iraq has somewhat assuaged him.
Speaking of Ledeen, the deranged intemperance of the man is a sight
to behold. In response to a speech by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas),
entitled "We've Been Neoconned," he went into hysterical fits in the
pages of National Review Online, and accused the noted libertarian
congressman of "distorting" his words. This is a typical neocon
tactic: accuse your enemies of crimes you yourself have committed,
even in the act of accusing them.
Rep. Paul cited Ledeen's "creative destruction" thesis exactly as it
appeared in The Terror Masters:
"Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society
and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to
science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and
the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and
creativity, which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and
shames them for their inability to keep pace. Seeing America undo
traditional societies, they fear us, for they do not wish to be
undone. They cannot feel secure so long as we are there, for our very
existence our existence, not our politics threatens their
legitimacy. They must attack us in order to survive, just as we must
destroy them to advance our historic mission."
In his barking bombast directed at Rep. Paul, however, Ledeen weasels
out of his own words, and changes the last sentence to:
"Therefore 'they must attack us in order to survive,' and, sooner or
later, we must confront them and, I hope and trust, defeat them in
order to advance our mission of spreading freedom."
Ledeen accuses Rep. Paul of misquoting him, yet he slithers away from
his original meaning by revising his text to say "defeat" instead
of "destroy." The coward doesn't even have the backbone to stand by
what he actually wrote.
What Ledeen is afraid of is what Sullivan doesn't have the sense to
see: that normal people are repulsed, instead of attracted, to this
callous cruelty. The sheer nastiness of the neocons is what has many
people, both right and left, utterly appalled. They are horrified
that a flock of bloodthirsty shrikes has commandeered the nest in
Washington, and they listen with unease and growing disgust to
the triumphant war cries coming from that direction. Ledeen is trying
to tone it down, but the guilty secret of the neocons is out. They
are moral cretins, with no more sense of right and wrong than any of
the other crazed ideologues with a murderous "historic mission," as
Ledeen puts it and just as dangerous.
"It should embarrass Congressman Paul to publicly expose himself as
an ignoramus and a fool," rants Ledeen, but Ron Paul has done nothing
of the sort. Ledeen has exposed himself as a liar, and a weenie and
it isn't a pretty sight. He claims not to advocate extending the Iraq
war into Iran, but his U.S.-directed and subsidized "political"
warfare against Tehran would lead to the introduction of U.S. troops
as the inevitable deus ex machina of his "revolutionary" morality
What riles Ledeen about Rep. Paul's speech is that it indicates how
widespread the neocon meme has become. It's one thing to be denounced
as a "neocon" in the pages of Antiwar.com, and quite another to be so
singled out on the floor of Congress. The other day, my mailman, whom
I occasionally engage in political discussion, referred to "the
neocons" as if they were the incarnation of pure evil. When the
resentment gets that widespread, it's time for Ledeen and his cohorts
to watch out.
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